Is Your Sunscreen Safe?
By Michelle Sala, Certified Integrative Health Coach
I think it’s interesting that suddenly consumers are interested in safer sunscreen to protect coral reefs¹ but have been ignorant to the fact that these same chemicals are also unsafe for humans. Dermatologists have drilled into our thinking that we must wear sunscreen everyday to protect us from skin cancer, however, they don’t educate us on which sunscreen chemicals are safe to use because they believe that whatever the FDA says is safe is safe. Did you know that overuse of sunscreen and fear of any kind of sun exposure may have contributed to the mass vitamin D deficiency among Americans? Some experts believe this fear of the sun is a contributing factor.²
Several sunscreen chemicals cause skin irritation and worse, hormone disruption. The best active sunscreen ingredients are mineral-based which physically block the sun like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. The worst ingredients are Oxybenzone (which is in nearly 65% of non-mineral sunscreens in the EWG’s 2018 database³) and Octinoxate which are both hormone disruptors. Other ingredients like parabens and phthalates (not listed on the ingredients, but a byproduct of manufacturing) are hormone disrupting as well. Anything that disrupts hormones can be cancer causing or contribute to other health issues related to hormone disregulation like estrogen dominance, thyroid dysfunction, brain fog, etc. Men are not immune from these estrogen-like compounds; If you have man boobs, you have excess estrogen!
Nanoparticles in many sunscreen sprays may also be problematic as they can be inhaled while you’re applying. There are no studies on the long-term affects of nanoparticles, but these are particles so small that they be able to make their way to your lungs, heart and perhaps, brain.
Not all synthetic ingredients are bad. Educate yourself about ingredients by going to www.ewg.org.
As a reminder, here is a short list of ingredients to lookout for:
Yes to these ingredienets – Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide, Coconut Oil.
Avoid these ingredients – Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Parabens, Propelyne Glycol, PEGs.
If you want to be sure your sunscreen is safe, shop for safe sunscreen here. Beautycounter tests all of its ingredients for safety.